Tips for the perfect play-day: making the most of the Strong Museum of Play


Trust me; on a short-break spent with your family in Rochester, NY, you won’t come across an attraction anywhere else that’s quite like the Strong Museum of Play. In fact, you’re unlikely to come across an attraction anywhere else in the country that’s quite like the Strong Museum of Play. For good reason then, it’s one of the best-reviewed and top-rated museums in the United States and, don’t doubt it, if you’ve the kids in tow during your time spent at the any of the best hotels in Rochester, it has to be a must on your must-visit list.

But just how to get the best possible day out of this ultimate play-day destination? Well, here’s our handy guide…

Tip: time your visit well – and don’t waste time

Yes, there’s simply so much to do at this venue – it’s effectively 100,000 sq2 of interactive space over-spilling with around 25 major exhibits that’ll vie for your attention and, of course, that of your little tykes – so it’s best not to get side-tracked from your play-day goals; true. This is one day and one place where organised play really is the best kind of play. Moreover, your best bet is to try and visit (whichever Rochester accommodation you’re staying at) on a weekday; yes, when school’s in session, if at all possible – weekends are understandably crazily busy, as are any day during the school holidays. Mind you, both Fridays and Saturdays in the evening aren’t a bad bet, as the place is open until 8pm both nights.

Tip: seek support for sensory and social needs

For kids with social and communication differences, parents are advised to visit the Museum’s website, download its guide app (which is free) and take a look at its ‘Accessibility’ section. Here you’ll find useful device on how get the most out of a visit to specific exhibits, including the Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden, in addition to safety information advices for young visitors with special needs. Additionally, it’s worth bearing in mind that throughout the museum there are also ‘guest rest’ areas; designated calm and quiet spaces designed for taking a break.

Tip: plan out your refreshments

So packed full of unmissable attractions is the museum that you’re bound to spend, well, at least a couple of hours in the place, so instead of having to worry about arranging your day so you’re in time to return for meal-time at whichever of the Rochester hotels you’re staying in, you can take advantage of all the refreshments options at the venue. These include a food court, a fun and appealing ’50s style eatery (the Skyline Diner), where burgers, hot dogs, chicken fingers, vegetarian options and the notorious Rochester ‘trash plate’ dish are all menu mainstays, while high chairs for the little ones are also available. Meanwhile, should you wish to bring along your own packed lunch, then ‘Lunchroom C’ is reserved specifically for this purpose (although please note that neither coolers or picnic baskets are allowed on the premises).

Tip: need-to-knows before you go

Again, don’t forget to download the venue’s app; it features a map, a guide of exhibits, a schedule and accessibility details. Plus, if you think you’ll require a stroller during your visit, then be advised that stroller rentals are available and, of course, if you bring along your own, you’ll be more than welcome to use them throughout the museum.